When it comes to classic French cuisine, Beef Bourguignon stands out as a beloved and timeless dish. This slow-cooked, savory masterpiece combines tender beef, aromatic vegetables, and a rich, wine-infused sauce. In this article, we’ll take you through the steps to prepare this mouthwatering dish, providing you with a taste of the French countryside right in your own kitchen.
Preparing the Ingredients
To make this delightful dish, you’ll need the following ingredients:
1. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Begin with a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil to give the dish its authentic flavor.
Six ounces of roughly chopped bacon add a delightful smokiness to the dish.
3. Beef Brisket
Opt for three pounds of beef brisket, trimmed of fat, and cut into 2-inch chunks. If you prefer, you can also use chuck steak or stewing beef.
- One large carrot, sliced 1/2-inch thick.
- One large white onion, diced.
- Six cloves of garlic, minced (divided).
- A pinch of coarse salt and freshly ground pepper for seasoning.
5. Thickening Agent
Use two tablespoons of flour to thicken the sauce.
6. Pearl Onions (Optional)
For added flavor and presentation, consider adding twelve small pearl onions.
7. Beef Stock
Use two to three cups of beef stock. If you opt for two cups of wine, use three cups of beef stock.
8. Tomato Paste
Add two tablespoons of tomato paste for a rich, tangy flavor.
9. Beef Bouillon Cube
Crush one beef bouillon cube and add it to the mix.
10. Fresh Herbs
- One teaspoon of fresh thyme, finely chopped.
- Two tablespoons of fresh parsley, finely chopped (divided).
- Two bay leaves to infuse aromatic notes.
Include one pound of fresh small white or brown mushrooms, quartered.
Finish off with two tablespoons of butter for a velvety touch.
Now, let’s dive into the cooking process step by step:
1. Preheat Your Oven
Preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C). This slow-cooked masterpiece will require patience but will undoubtedly reward your taste buds.
2. Cook the Bacon
In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crispy. Once done, remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set it aside for later use.
3. Sear the Beef
Season the beef cubes with salt and pepper. Add them to the Dutch oven and cook until they are browned on all sides. Once the beef is perfectly seared, remove it with a slotted spoon and set it aside.
4. Sauté Onions and Garlic
Add the diced onions to the Dutch oven and cook them until they become softened. Then, add the minced garlic and cook for another minute to release their aromatic flavors.
5. Create a Roux
Now, add the flour to the Dutch oven and stir it in with the onions and garlic. This step will help thicken the sauce.
6. Add the Wine and Broth
Pour in the red wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits. Then, add the beef broth, tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaf. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer, infusing the dish with rich flavors.
7. Combine Ingredients
Return the beef and bacon to the Dutch oven. Add the carrots, ensuring all the ingredients are well-combined.
8. Slow Cook to Perfection
Cover the Dutch oven and transfer it to the preheated oven. Allow it to bake for 2 to 3 hours, or until the beef is incredibly tender, and the sauce has thickened to perfection. Don’t forget to remove the bay leaf and discard it before serving.
Beef Bourguignon is more than just a meal; it’s a culinary journey through the heart of France. With its tender beef, rich wine sauce, and aromatic vegetables, it’s a true delight for the senses. Prepare this classic dish and savor a taste of the French countryside, right at your own dinner table.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What wine is best for Beef Bourguignon?
For an authentic taste, use a robust red wine like Merlot, Pinot Noir, or Chianti. However, you can also opt for a milder sauce by using just 2 cups of wine.
2. Can I make Beef Bourguignon in advance?
Absolutely! In fact, it often tastes even better the next day. Just reheat it gently on the stove or in the oven.
3. What can I serve with Beef Bourguignon?
This dish pairs perfectly with crusty French bread, mashed potatoes, or buttered noodles.
4. Can I freeze leftover Beef Bourguignon?
Yes, you can freeze it for later enjoyment. Just ensure it’s in an airtight container, and it should last for a few months.
5. Are there any variations to Beef Bourguignon?
Certainly! Some variations include using different cuts of beef, adding more vegetables like mushrooms or peas, or even experimenting with the choice of wine for a unique twist.